WWE Mixed Match Challenge and 205 Live Winners, Grades and Reaction for Feb. 6

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistFebruary 7, 2018

WWE Mixed Match Challenge and 205 Live Winners, Grades and Reaction for Feb. 6

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    Naomi hits Goldust with the Rear View.
    Naomi hits Goldust with the Rear View.Credit: WWE.com

    WWE's Mixed Match Challenge was an interesting concept when it was first announced, but the execution has not been up to usual standards.

    Showing the matches exclusively on Facebook may have been a mistake because it limits how fans can view the show. Not everyone has a TV capable of connecting to Facebook Watch, so those people are forced to settle for their computer, phone or tablet.

    The biggest problem is the complete lack of stakes. The winners of the tournament get bragging rights, but nothing else has been offered as an incentive.

    The Mixed Match Challenge will be combined with the weekly 205 Live recap through the end of the tournament, so let's take a look at all of the post-SmackDown action from Tuesday night.

Jimmy Uso and Naomi vs. Goldust and Mandy Rose

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    Jimmy Uso and Naomi vs. Mandy Rose and Goldust
    Jimmy Uso and Naomi vs. Mandy Rose and GoldustCredit: WWE.com

    This week's Mixed Match Challenge featured the real couple of Jimmy Uso and Naomi teaming up to battle Goldust and his new partner, Mandy Rose.

    Goldie was originally set to team with Alicia Fox, but she was sidelined with an injury. Rose used to go by the nickname "The Golden Goddess," so this pairing made sense.

    Daniel Bryan was voted to be the special guest referee for this match, which is convenient since he was already in the arena for SmackDown while Kurt Angle would have had to make a special trip had he won the poll.

    How you feel about this match is going to depend on what you were hoping for going into it. If you wanted an exchange of technical wrestling, you are going to be disappointed.

    But if you wanted to see some entertaining trash-talking and a few fun spots, this bout will put a smile on your face. Naomi and Uso picked up the win thanks to some teamwork, but their night wasn't over after the bell.

    Rusev and Lana came out to taunt their married rivals and give the WWE Universe a new chant. It will be interesting to see which couple comes out on top when they have their showdown.


    Grade: C+


    Notes and Highlights

    • Goldust may have found a new muse. If Absolution ends up breaking up, RoseGold could be an interesting combination. This time it could be Goldust who serves as the manager.
    • The interaction between Uso and Goldust in the early moments made this feel like a match from a live event instead of a TV taping. Live events are when you see Superstars have a little more fun because they aren't required to tell the same story.
    • Wouldn't Uso kissing Naomi count as a tag?

Kalisto vs. Lince Dorado

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    The competitors in this week's Cruiserweight Championship tournament matches
    The competitors in this week's Cruiserweight Championship tournament matchesCredit: WWE.com

    The first match from 205 Live saw occasional teammates Kalisto and Lince Dorado battle in another first-round match in the ongoing Cruiserweight Championship tournament.

    The two masked warriors are close in height and weight, so neither competitor was at a size disadvantage for the first time in their respective WWE careers.

    Fans of CMLL, AAA and the cruiserweight division from WCW were likely thrilled to see a matchup like this because these Superstars are the epitome of lucha libre wrestling.

    The crowd responded to all of their big spots with chants of "This is awesome," but only one man could advance in the tournament.

    Dorado hit a beautiful shooting star press, but Kalisto was able to roll out of the ring to avoid the pin. The Lucha Dragon picked up the win with a reverse hurricanrana followed by his patented Salida del Sol.


    Grade: A


    Notes and Highlights

    • This match is a reminder of how poorly Dorado has been booked since 205 Live started. He has as much talent as anyone else in the division.
    • The spot where Kalisto stood on Dorado's shoulders for a second was amazing.
    • Dorado's ability is even more impressive when you consider how his mask limits his vision. His eyes are covered with a screen, so visibility has to be affected in some way.
    • The standing hurricanrana from the top rope is one of the most impressive maneuvers any wrestler can perform because both Superstars have to trust each other completely.

Roderick Strong vs. Hideo Itami

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    Roderick Strong made his main roster debut this week when he battled Hideo Itami in the second first-round match of the night.

    Unlike Dorado and Kalisto's quick pace, Strong and Itami kept things grounded and worked a more technical style, especially in the early minutes.

    Neither of these men managed to win the NXT Championship during their time in the developmental system, so they are both still looking to win their first title in WWE.

    They picked up the pace as the match progressed, which led to some stiff strikes being exchanged. Itami is known for being vicious, but Roddy is no slouch.

    After a brutal showcase of their skills, Strong scored what many would call an upset victory with the End of Heartbreak to advance to the next round of the tournament and take one step closer to wrestling at WrestleMania 34.


    Grade: B+


    Notes and Highlights

    • Strong hitting backbreakers from every possible angle will never get old.
    • Considering how strong WWE has been booking Itami recently, it's surprising to see him eliminated in the first round of the tournament.
    • The best part of Vic Joseph and Nigel McGuinness on commentary is how they never distract from the action in the ring. They stay focused on the match and put both guys over by stating real facts about their careers.
    • The way Itami hit the apron when Strong threw him looked dangerous.